Monday, 3 September 2012

Andrew Barrett

Andrew writes gritty crime thrillers from the point of view of a Scene of Crime Officer, his own profession.  He writes intelligent, articulate stories and punchy dialogue with an appealing dark sense of humour.  I love these books.

A Long Time Dead (The Dead Trilogy - Book 1)

Link to  A Long Time Dead (The Dead Trilogy - Book 1)

My review -

This book is an exciting and complex tale about a SOCO working towards a promotion. He has problems at home and further problems with work colleagues, one of whom he is convinced has been dealing in guns. The story unfolds and with it the richness of the characters and their interactions with one another. There are two murders in the story and we are rather misled as to the perpetrator (as were the police!)

The language used throughout the book is really well thought out, descriptive and inspiring. I very much enjoyed it. The author is in this line of work himself and writes with authority. I loved the way the story built gradually and I thought I knew who was to blame but of course, I didn't! The ending is almost a cliff-hanger and although I have started another book, I know I shall very soon read Book 2. The man has a story-telling talent and I love to find another good author!

Stealing Elgar (The Dead Trilogy - Book 2)

Link to   Stealing Elgar (The Dead Trilogy - Book 2)

My review -

This is the second book in the 'Dead' trilogy and although it's a long book, my attention never flagged. The protagonist Roger Conniston, a Scene of Crime Officer, is doubtful of his abilities in his new role as Senior SOCO. His old adversary Inspector Weston, is still flouting the law he is paid to uphold. There are so many stories cleverly woven together here. Roger's wife is kidnapped by a gang involved in running guns amongst other things. There are flawed good characters, bad ones with some good qualities and a number of people you aren't sure about. The action is fast and exciting but it's not one of those books that's full of tedious cloned fight scenes. I had to go out 5% from the end and I couldn't rest till I'd returned and finished it!

The writing is imaginative and puts you quickly in the frame of the action. It's full of little remarks with the kind of black humour often employed by those whose work brings them up against danger or death; the police, armed services and medical people. I'd love to see a film of this book, or one of those TV programmes shown over several nights. If you enjoy thrillers, crime fiction and murder, all spiced with a wry humour, this book will enthral you. It did me!

No More Tears (The Dead Trilogy - Book 3)

Link to  No More Tears (The Dead Trilogy - Part 2)

My review -

This fantastic book is the third in Andrew Barrett's 'Dead' trilogy. Not for the squeamish, it includes corpses, maimings, bent coppers and murderous ambition but also love, loyalty and steadfast friendship. The author brilliantly describes the raging hollowness of bereavement and the surging anger of the longing for revenge. The leading character in the series is a Scene of Crime Officer, the author's own profession, so the work carries conviction and authenticity. There's dark humour here and a deep understanding of human nature.

The writing is powerful, the dialogue gritty and uncompromising. This book has everything you could want from the crime/thriller genre and is a fitting climax to an unforgettable trilogy. I am very impressed with Andrew Barrett's work and will make sure I read more of it. Excellent!

 Andrew's website

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